March Exits Like a Lion (Part VI) in 1913

(08/15/2002)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 04/15/1913.

P.P. Bell Describes Flood

Ed. Chronicle: --
As my friends in Calhoun may want to know how we passed through the recent great flood at Pt. Pleasant, with your permission I will give a short account of the same.  The people of Pt. Pleasant had hardly recovered from the effect of a flood a few weeks ago, when to their horror they realized they were doomed to a greater flood than had ever been known along the Ohio Valley.  The stage reached here was 62.8 ft. about two and one half ft. higher than the flood of '84.

Almost the entire town of Pt. Pleasant was under water.  Every store except one in the North end of town was put out of business, all the hotels and Banks and other business places were flooded.  Houses were turned over, and floated from their foundations.

The damage done will reach far into the thousands of dollars.

My brother Robert had allowed his neighbors to move their household effects into the upper story of his house, so when he realized that a great flood was coming, he placed his own stuff high up on scaffolds, above the '84 mark but it flooded him as it did hundreds of others and destroyed nearly everything for him.  Paris' house was entirely surrounded by water, but it didn't quite get on the first floor.  Paris was at Spencer during the flood and could not get home as there has been no trains running for more than a week.

North Pt. Pleasant where I live was partly flooded.  The water was in my cellar and partly around my house.  A two-story house belonging to Charley Kay, formerly of Calhoun county was washed away.  The house stood only about ten rods from my store.  A man living on a shanty boat near my place, got his boat crushed and sunk, by a large barge striking it, one of his children three years of age was drowned and the rest of them barely escaped death.

I stood in my store and saw dozens of houses floating down the Ohio and I am of no doubt but what there was hundreds of houses went down.  The Ohio river broke over the low ground about a mile above here, and had us completely surrounded by water for five days.  Several families here had to move on account of the water but we are all happy to know that it was no worse than it was.

Charleston sent boat loads of provision and tents to Pt. Pleasant to feed and care for the homeless.

I never want to see another flood.  I hope that I may sometime see you all and tell you more about it.

Yours very truly,
P.P. Bell


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